Tested positive for the coronavirus, Alessandro Florenzi is forfeited for Bayern-PSG, Wednesday evening in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League (9 p.m., RMC Sport 1). A problem for Paris, as reassuring options behind the Italian are almost non-existent, and the German left lane is scary.
PSG fans thought they saw fate smiling at the start of last week, when Bayern Munich announced a four-week absence for their star striker Robert Lewandowski, consequently forfeiting the Champions League quarter-final. But the football gods have since gotten involved.
In addition to Leandro Paredes, suspended, in addition to Mauro Icardi, affected in the left thigh and still uncertain for Wednesday’s first leg at the Allianz Arena (9 p.m., RMC Sport 1), Paris recorded the withdrawal of Marco Verratti on Friday. after a new positive test for coronavirus, then that, this Monday, of Alessandro Florenzi for the same reason. A Florenzi far from imperial, since he has the lowest ratio of duels won (42%) among the defenders of C1 this season, but who had been tenured in the eight European games of PSG so far.
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48 hours from the shock, Mauricio Pochettino and his staff will therefore have to find a solution to replace the Italian side on the right side, and stop as best as possible the wisps of the left Bavarian lane, namely Kinglsey Coman and Alphonso Davies – even Lucas Hernandez . Quite a puzzle.
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The Kehrer option
On paper, the most obvious option for the Argentinian technician is to establish Thilo Kehrer, Florenzi’s “natural” lining. Used 26 times in 2020-2021 (1,384 minutes), as often on the axis as on the right, the German has made 17 appearances in the Champions League since his arrival in 2018, and therefore has some experience of continental games. . He had also been established in the grand final against Bayern last August. Problem: he had been mistreated, not to say martyred by Kingsley Coman, to whom he had almost offered a penalty in the first period before releasing his marking on the victorious goal …
Unfortunately too frequent errors for the former protégé of Thomas Tuchel, struggling as soon as the level rises. We saw it again this weekend during the defeat against Lille (1-0): Kehrer had a hard time channeling Bamba, and gave the image of a player in total lack of confidence. Exactly what PSG does not need.
The Dagba option
Unlike Kehrer, the French defender has hardly any experience in C1, since he has only made four appearances in the competition, for a single tenure, in November 2019 against Bruges. However, Colin Dagba has played almost as much as his German teammate this season (23 games, 1,137 minutes), and above all we notice that in the last six games without Florenzi, Pochettino has chosen him three times, against Nîmes, Bordeaux and Nantes. . This shows that in the mind of the coach, the debate exists.
Was the international Espoirs convincing? Not particularly, no. But he was not more than feverish than Kehrer either. At 22 now, Dagba gives the overall image of a player who is struggling to take a step forward to enter the big leagues. A tenure in such a poster could give him this opportunity. Or the opposite.
The surprise option
The first two options are not very exciting, it is not impossible that Mauricio Pochettino takes a small (or big) surprise out of his hat. Remember that in the rather distant past, especially against Chelsea in 2016, Marquinhos has already played in the right lane. But given the current importance of the captain in central defense, such a replacement seems more than unlikely.
Since the package of Alessandro Florenzi is known, the name of Timothée Pembélé also appears in discussions between lovers of PSG. But again, little chance of seeing a young player of 18, who has only seven games in the pros and who is not even a side by trade, to be aligned in this shock.
In the “plan C” category, perhaps the most serious track is that of a three (or five) defense, although this system was never used by Pochettino. But in this case, which player to align in the role of right piston? Angel Di Maria? Moise Kean? The next training sessions could perhaps allow us to see more clearly.